‘DWTS’: Melissa Gilbert, Amazing Underdog

by | May 2, 2012 at 2:28 PM | Dancing With The Stars

Melissa and Maks (Photo: ABC)

Former “Little House on the Prairie” star Melissa Gilbert will not go home!

Melissa is proving she’s one of the most surprising competitors ever on “Dancing with the Stars” as she stays on the hit ABC reality show while seemingly better dancers get eliminated.

The veteran TV actress defied the odds again on “DWTS” Tuesday night by sailing through to Week 8. Despite getting the lowest score on Monday for a bizarre “Marriage of Figaro” dance that had her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy flip her upside down, Melissa was saved again. Instead, the much-praised Jaleel White said goodbye after being beaten by Roshon Fegan in the dance duel.

Watch Melissa and Maks’ Bizarre “Marriage of Figaro” Dance:

“Unbelievable,” Melissa sighed to Xfinitytv backstage, crediting, “Little House fans—all of those people who have been following my career for this many years. It’s very overwhelming. I’m beyond grateful. They’ve carried me through an awful lot but this is more than I ever imagined.”

Her partner candidly admitted he never expected them to make it this far. Maks said, “When the season started, I was like, week 3, we’re out of here. We’re in week 8, it’s absurd, given what we’re getting” from the judges. “We got three 7s yesterday. We got three 7s on week one. It’s ridiculous.

“I strongly believe we never will get a 9,” Maks said. “At the moment, I really don’t care because of what just happened. We weren’t even in the bottom two. At this point, I just want to put on a show for the fans. I love this woman.”

Melissa Gets a Surprise Save!

The actress survived week four, in which she collapsed after suffering whiplash and a mild concussion, and has continued to be a voter favorite.

Melissa is proud of her Monday high-flying Argentine tango with Maks, which judges compared to a bad circus routine. “It’s extraordinary that my body has been able to do the things it’s able to do,” said the star who broke her back two years ago and will turn 48 next Tuesday [May 8]. “Forget the age that I am. It doesn’t even matter. The only way any of that would have been possible is because he said that I could.”

She marveled, “we’re still here.”

Here Are the Highlights of This Week’s Performances: